Accidental Surrogate For Alpha Novel Free -Chapter 53
“You look radiant.” Sinclair’s father is beaming up at me from his wheelchair, “how’s my grandbaby
“Oh he’s certainly making his presence known.” I laugh, sliding my arms into the sleeves of my coat.
Sinclair is holding the garment up for me, then straightens it around my shoulders as if worried I won’t
be warm enough. He’s been particularly on edge tonight, and though I understand his agitation, I’m
beginning to tire of being treated like a china doll. “Stop fussing, Dominic, I’m fine.”
“I’m still not sure this is a good idea.” He grumbles. “Your blood pressure was much too high this
afternoon and you didn’t get nearly enough rest.”
“You’re the one who keeps telling me how important these events are.” I remind him. “And I feel
He’s still muttering to himself, and Henry chuckles, “You’re fighting a losing battle, my dear. There won’t
be any reasoning with him – I was the same way when his mother was breeding and we weren’t
“It’s too much stress.” Sinclair agrees. “All the media and the royal family, on top of the crowds.”
“Not to mention your brother.” Henry adds darkly. It’s true that this is the first time I’m going to be
encountering all of these people together, but it’s also far from the last. The Yuletide Feast is only the
third night of the festival, and we still have four more high profile events to get through before we can
relax. Even then it will only be a temporary reprieve – we still have the rest of the campaign to get
“I’ll be fine.” I insist. “You don’t have to coddle me.”
Both men raise their eyebrows, as if to say that this isn’t my decision and I absolutely do need to be
coddled. Sure enough, Sinclair shakes his head and overrules me. “We’ll come home at the first sign
you feel overwhelmed – and that isn’t up for debate.”
I turn away, rolling my eyes when I’m confident they can’t see my face. However as I begin to step
towards the door, Sinclair pulls me back against his chest. The big Alpha lowers his lips to my ear, his
deep voice like rough velvet. “I saw that, trouble.”
My stomach swoops with excitement and apprehension, and I try to make my voice sound stronger
than I feel. “And?” I challenge him. “I’m not scared of you.”
A low chuckle vibrates in his chest, and I feel very overheated all of a sudden. “Liar.” Sinclair croons,
petting me affectionately. I’m only too aware that his father is only a few feet behind us and can hear
every word. I feel my cheeks flush with color, but the elder alpha doesn’t seem embarrassed at all.
“Alright you two, we’re going to be late.”
We pile out the door and into the back of the limo, Sinclair effortlessly lifting his father into the seat and
stowing his wheelchair in the trunk before joining us. I’m deeply curious to know more about Henry’s
relationship with Roger, especially given the way he warned us about his presence. “Do you see Roger
often?” I inquire shyly.
Dark clouds seem to pass over the older man’s features. “No, I’m afraid my son has never forgiven me
for naming Dominic my heir.”
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.” I apologize, realizing how personal the question was.
“Nonsense, you’re family now.” Henry assures me, looking pensive. “I love my son as any father
should,” he shares thoughtfully, “and when you welcome your pup you’ll learn firsthand that children
don’t always appreciate what’s best for them. Roger would not have made a good Alpha, and I had to
do what was best for the pack as well as him. Neither would have thrived under his leadership, and I
haven’t ever regretted passing the role to Dominic one bit. I just wish it had been possible to do the
right thing without sewing so much discord in my family.”
“Roger hated me long before you named me as your heir.” Sinclair interjects, and I can see his
protective side coming out in response to his father’s sadness. “He’s been after me ever since Mom
died, and becoming Alpha wouldn’t have helped our relationship at all. If anything it would have created
more problems. He would have mismanaged things and I would have been compelled to challenge
him. You did the right thing.”
“Oh I know,” Henry reaches over to pat Sinclair’s shoulder, “I just can’t help thinking that there might
have been a better way, I could have handled it differently, including losing your mother.”
“Everything is easy in hindsight.” I offer gently. “And grief blinds us all, there is no right way to handle it.
Besides, it sounds like these cards were already on the table from the start. I’m sure you did the best
you could – and that’s all any of us can hope for.”
“Thank you Ella.” Henry proclaims, managing a dim smile. “I appreciate that.”
We continue to the fair in peaceful silence, and I find myself staring out the window at all the lavish
decorations which were put up around the city yesterday. I was too preoccupied fighting with Sinclair to
notice when we departed the festival, but the old town has truly been transformed for the holiday.
Lights, greenery, ice sculptures and ornaments abound, glittering almost too brightly against the stark
white mounds of fresh snow.
The feast is happening against the backdrop of the Midwinter Fair, and though I wish we had time to
explore the carnival, when we arrive reporters and photographers are clamoring around us the moment
we exit the car. Sinclair growls at them in warning when they edge too close to me, and though they
back off, they remain persistent in their demands for questions and photos. So we head straight to the
feast, eager to cross the velvet ropes that will block the clamoring media from the main party.
We have to greet the royal family first, bowing and curtseying to the King, Queen and Prince and
making polite conversation – at least, as polite as one can be with political opponents. Afterwards we
move to our assigned places at the head table, relieved to have the tense interaction resolved.
Sinclair pulls out my chair, but I can’t bring myself to sit down. “Oh no,” I gulp, holding my breath when I
see a large platter of grilled fish on the table. “Is that fish?”
Sinclair follows my gaze, quickly growling at a waiter. “Can you remove the fish, please?”
“Remove it?” The man blinks, looking back and forth between us. I’ve got my hand over my mouth, and
my face is probably very pale from holding my breath. I’m about to break, needing air but knowing the
scent will be terrible.
“Yes, the smell makes Ella sick.” Sinclair explains, getting impatient with the man’s slowness on the
uptake. “Get it out of here, can’t you see what it’s doing to her?”
It’s too late, at that moment I lower my hand, heaving in a gasp of much needed oxygen, and feeling
my stomach turn in the very same second. I shake my head, knowing I’ve probably turned green and
whimpering when I feel my gag reflex engage. I take off for the restrooms, knowing if I stay I’ll be sick
all over the beautiful table.
I can hear Sinclair coming after me, but I race into the bathroom just as another woman is exiting. I can
barely hear their confrontation over the sounds of my own retching, but when Sinclair doesn’t enter I
know the stranger must have insisted he not set foot in the lady’s room. Propriety must have won out,
but I don’t mind – I hate being sick in front of people, especially handsome men who give me
The door opens just as a second wave of nausea overtakes me, and I hear high heels clicking across
the floor. “Oh you poor dear.” A feminine voice sounds behind me, and gentle hands pull the hair back
from my face. “There, that’s better.”
“Thank you.” I croak, miserable beyond words.
“Nonsense,” My savior replies. “We she-wolves have to stick together.”
“Well I appreciate it.” I repeat, looking up for the first time. The other woman is beautiful, with short dark
hair and bright blue eyes. She’s elegant and sophisticated in a way I’ll never be, and I feel a twinge of
shame. I bet this stranger has never done anything as unseemly as vomiting in public – pregnant or
“This is your first pup.” She observes kindly, “They’re always the hardest.”
“Do you have any?” I ask, moving towards the sink to rinse out my mouth.
“No,” She frowns, a dark look crossing her features. “I haven’t been so blessed.”
“Oh I’m sorry, it was insensitive of me.” I realize, flushing with embarrassment.
“Don’t worry about it.” She gives me a long, lingering look full of unspoken emotion. “You’re very lucky,
you know.” She murmurs meaningfully, then turns and leaves without another word. I can’t help feeling
as though I’ve missed something important. It’s only after she’s gone that I realize I never even asked
When I return to the feast, Sinclair stands to greet me, reaching for my waist. “Are you alright?”
“Yes,” I try to summon a smile, “as long as the fish is gone.”
“Do you want to leave?” He asks, stroking my cheek.
I shrug, leaning into his warmth and pressing my face to the curve of his neck. He smells so good, it’s
almost enough to make me forget about being ill. His arms come around me reflexively, and I can hear
him breathing in my own scent. However rather than purring or humming with contentment like he
usually does, his body goes completely stiff. He pulls away from me slightly, his brow furrowing in
confusion as he searches my features.
“What’s wrong?” I ask, feeling uneasy. He’s looking at me as if I’ve grown a second head, and I don’t
like it one bit.
“You smell like my ex-wife.” Sinclair grits out, his wolf suddenly glowing in his eyes. “You smell like
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